No matter what, every time you exercise you MUST do squats, especially if you’re a beginner. If more advanced, squatting should at least be a part of your warmup, if not a main lift. In fact, no matter who you are, squat as low as you can at least once every-single-day. Using weights is not necessarily required for health purposes. In some parts of the world, low-squatting is required daily due to primitive toilets. But you know what? Because of this, many of them can still squat all-the-way down like they did as a toddler…all because they’ve maintained it regularly with their “vintage” bathroom duties, not because they do squatting exercises. It’s part of their world. Make it part of yours! Yes, there are lots of different ways to squat, lots of different kinds of squats. Just pick one. The Goblet Squat is my personal favorite and what I recommend for most people interested in building healthy strength, flexibility and losing body-fat (please be very careful if you plan to use a barbell or heavy weights.) MAIN POINTS: Feet and Back must remain flat the entire time. Feet can point straight ahead or a little out to the sides. Just make sure that the knees point in the same direction as the feet while moving up and down. Think about actively pulling yourself down rather than just dropping down with gravity and the weight of your body. Push your knees out while going down and while coming back up (this helps use your hips and legs more effectively while also burning some extra calories and helping prevent common injuries). If you’re new to squatting, make sure to do some warming up beforehand. Start off with 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions. Work up to 3 sets of 15. Then try using some weight if you feel you’re ready. Go as low as you can without any pain or your back rounding. Use mirrors or video yourself. Feet MUST remain flat at all times. Remember, do some squats every time you exercise. No exceptions! (Also, breathing is important. Try to actively breathe (inhale going down, exhale at the top). Start slow, build strong. Ask for help needed. I’m always here if you ever have a question or concern. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
I appreciate simple things. I also appreciate that simple and easy are not the same thing. They say you can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear and how they walk. I can do the same watching someone crawl. A very simple thing to try (but may prove to be more difficult for some) is to walk/crawl down to the ground and come back up to standing using mostly your upper body and whatever flexibility you currently have. Try to do several in a row if you want. (After years working as a fitness professional, I can honestly say that, as easy as this may be for regular exercisers, it’s often quite difficult for those that are sedentary.) Did it make you breathe heavy? Was it challenging to move the weight of your body around? Did you feel tight in a few areas? Perfect. This would be a great place for you to start exploring movement with your body. Yes, it also burns calories too. Just make sure nothing hurts when you do it. It is ok if it doesn’t look perfect. The point is to begin getting more comfortable being uncomfortable. I recommend practicing this daily. You don’t need to get all sweaty while doing it. Not yet anyway. For now, don’t even worry about counting any reps if you don’t want to. I would rather you put all of your energy toward simply moving better. You’ll know you’ve made progress when it feels easier to do AND begins to look more and more graceful over time. You can always upgrade to BEAST MODE later on if or when things drastically improve. But for now, master the fundamentals. They are never to be overlooked. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
The KETTLEBELL SWING rules, especially when learned correctly and practiced safely over time till form is refined and perfected. This does require time and effort. And with all this said, it’s not always a safe or great fit for everyone. Many of these clips were actually shot the very first time each person tried them. Form isn’t always perfect in the beginning so the weight should be light enough to allow safe practice till things progress. Pound for pound, this is my favorite exercise and what I believe to be one of the most beneficial exercises in existence. Attention to detail is a must. This cannot be stressed enough. #blueskystrongbox
“What exercise would you recommend if I only have time to do ONE exercise?” (Video below from my Instagram page)March 22, 2018
TURN UP THE VOLUME. Today is an important (free) video I did for everyone that asks, “What’s one good exercise you recommend for busy people?” It’s a great question and one that I do get often. So if you were to just do one (strength) exercise, I would recommend choosing one from this list. I tried to choose exercises that I do myself. I also tried to choose exercises that had variety and could be done in almost any situation with a variety of equipment or no equipment. One single exercise practiced correctly, intensely enough & often enough can give a tremendous bang for the buck. If your main goal is to lose body fat, focus 99% of your effort on nutrition and 7-9 hours of sleep every single night. For health, most folks don’t need to do a bunch of exercises to strengthen the body. But we all do NEED to do something. Strength is super important for everything that relates to health, fitness and enjoying a long higher quality of life. Strength doesn’t have to mean working out all the time or building big muscles, if that’s not your cup of tea. Strength exercises come in many varieties. Most people just do nothing their entire adult lives which catches up to most people later when they are too weak to do basic everyday tasks. Do know that a “strength” exercise is the same thing as a “resistance” exercise or even a “weight-bearing” exercise. Don’t ever be confused. Keep things simple. Remember, your form (how you do the exercise) is very important. Doing it regularly is also very important. Write me with ANY questions you may have… so here’s the list: 1) The Swing 2) Deadlift+Carry 3) Squat to Row 4) Goblet Squat 5) Turkish Getup 6) Crawling 7) L-sit. With all that said, the single best “general” exercise in the world is WALKING. Seriously. People often think I’m joking but I’m not. Personally, I prefer and highly recommend walking uphill whenever possible. Walking daily is essential. #blueskystrongbox
When it comes to Health and/or Fitness, many of us seek the quick fix. These are called short-term solutions. Typically, these are best reserved for emergencies. These days, this is now the norm. Some call it “hacking”. I’m all for shortcuts but only when appropriate. If there’s one thing i know, you CANNOT shortcut health. If you really want to see for yourself, knock yourself out. I’m just trying to save you the trouble. Also know, i can’t recommend it. Besides it being unhealthy, it can also waste valuable time, time that we will never get back. Why spend a lifetime continually chasing the same things? Instead, i recommend finding focus, balance, and simplicity. Below is a video i did yesterday. I did it in one take. I talk about 10 principles that i think are very important, essential and the fundamentals of most everything. Wanna lose some body fat? Gain some muscle? Be healthier? Live longer? Increase your athletic or job performance? Most everyone wants these things. I recommend taking the high road. Life is short but it’s just long enough to benefit from doing a few things well and with consistency.February 5, 2018
This video is the second phase of my Foundations series. The first phase consisted of 3 videos. They can be found on this YouTube page and my official personal training website, http://www.BLUESKYSTRONGBOX.COM.
In this video, i talk about 10 principles that i feel are essential to health as well as fitness. So, regardless of what your goal(s) are, be that Fat Loss, improving General Health, increasing Lean Muscle or a performance goal for a job or sport, these 10 principles are important.
Look, i know this video is a bit long. It’s longer than i wish but sometimes it is simply just not possible to do a short video. Sorry!
Here is my list:
1. Get enough Rest/Sleep
2. Create a 5-minute Morning Ritual. Do it every day.
3. Walk and move your body as much as you can each day.
4. Exercise regularly. Focus on a balance of the big 3: flexibility, strength, and stamina.
5. Find balance and harmony with everything in your life.
6. Drink enough water each day so that your urine is clear or close.
7. Eat more plants and less of everything else.
8. Eat more variety and balance of all other food.
9. Eat less overall. Try going longer between meals.
10. Keep it simple.
Carlton’s basic “A.M. Flow” to mobilize the spine and the 4 knots (both shoulder sockets+both hip sockets). Lastly, breathing deeply & rhythmically throughout is most important. Breathe in through the nose and out through pursed lips.October 25, 2017
“Body Fat & Thoughts on Body Image” 7/12/10 Carlton Cullins-BLUE SKY STRONGBOX-Personal Trainer-AustinTXOctober 9, 2017